Story by UNK Athletic Communications
The 12th-ranked Nebraska Kearney volleyball team has placed seven players on the 2023 All-MIAA squad.The league's head coaches vote on the makeup of the team and cannot vote for their own players.Super senior outside Emersen Cyza (Alliance) earns her third straight first-team honor with graduate right-side Jaden Ferguson (Lincoln SW) and redshirt sophomore setter Peyton Neff (North Platte) now two-time first-team selections.Next, freshman middle Mia Berg (Eureka, Mo.) and redshirt junior Lauren Taubenheim (Lincoln Pius) earned second-team accolades. Taubenheim joins Cyza and Ferguson as three-time All-MIAA selections. Finally, redshirt junior defensive specialist Jensen Rowse (Minden) and junior outside Asha Regier (Newton, Kan.) received honorable mention. Rowse makes the All-MIAA team for a second straight fall with this being Regier's first honor.Spending the past four falls at Northwest Missouri State, Ferguson was one of one five unanimous first-team picks. She provides an all-around game to the tune of 2.88 kills, 2.99 digs, 0.7 blocks, 0.3 aces and 0.3 assists per set while hitting .282. Ferguson also is one of UNK's top passers, posting a serve receive percentage of .959.
Recently reaching 1,000-career kills, Ferguson has had eight doubles doubles to date and leads UNK in kills, kills per set, aces (32), points (354.5) and is tied for first in solo blocks (12).Cyza is up to 1,277 career kills as she ranks second on the team in the category (3.02) while appearing in 91 of a possible 98 sets. Also providing 92 digs, 29 blocks and 21 aces, Cyza had had a double digit kill total in 15 matches so far including the last five.Giving Ferguson and Cyza the ball is Neff who is one of two setters on the first-team. The only Loper to have appeared in all 99 sets, she enters the MIAA Tournament at 11.4 assists, 2.3 digs, 0.8 kills, 0.6 blocks and 0.3 aces per set while hitting a team-best .323. Neff guides and offense that is hitting .274 and totals just over 14 kills per set. Finally, she is third on the team in aces (27) and fourth in overall digs.Berg is one of the league's top first-year players, averaging 2.1 kills and a team-best 1.02 blocks per set and hitting a solid .291. She has had six matches with a double digit kill total and leads UNK in blocks (89), block assists (77) and solo stuffs (12). In the backrow, Taubenheim is up to 3.82 digs per set while maintaining a .965 serve receive percentage. Closing in on 1,000 career kills (929), she also has 29 assists and 13 aces.Rowse (1,022) already has 1k in digs thanks to having 230 (2.35) this year. Appearing in 98 sets, she has served up 28 aces and ranks second on the squad in assists with 52. Finally, Regier has had a solid year on the outside. She is at 2.82 kills per set and hitting .288 and has reached a double digit kill total 11 times. Regier also has 59 digs, 28 blocks, and seven assists.UNK (26-4) is the third seed in this year's eight-team MIAA Tournament held in the St. Joseph (Mo.) Civic Arena. The Lopers face Northwest Missouri State in Thursday's second match of the day, likely at 2:30 p.m.